Today is a day of rest. That means a HIKE! I got better layers set out and hoped for the best for the morning acclimatization hike. The tea houses are getting more rustic as we go. Rooms are very small, which is good because it keeps the heat in. The wind is fierce and the Yak Dung burning stoves take some time to project the heat. Last night I slept in my Big Agnes sleeping bag with a thick fleece, polortec pants, and my Fits Roy Down Hoodie. OH, and a light comforter provided by the lodge. I also threw a boiling hot bottle of water in the bottom of the bag. It was very comfortable. The Sherpas all slept outside in tents.
Our kitchen travels with us. It is part of the service provided by Mountain Madness. I see the staff throughout the day on the trail, portering the goods and utensils needed to cook three meals a day and afternoon tea. All of our meals are prepared outside. The staff rings it in to us and we get as much as we want of a good variety of food. Have had Water Buffalo, sardines, pizza, lots of wonderful tasting potatoes, soups,……it goes on and on. I am having trouble eating enough, however, and I am not sure why. When a plate is handed t me I am excited to get some food but quickly feel full and simply cannot eat more than a very little off my plate. Up we were this morning and I ate some cereal and a couple bites of egg and hot chocolate. Then we headed out to our rest day hike. Deana told us where she wanted us all to go to achieve the needed work of the day. Some would continue on to an even higher point. The trail was steep and we headed up to 15,000 feet. I rested there, took some pictures with the Sherpa and then headed back down. I felt good. So good that I picked up my pace and thought I would give Mani a treat by getting back quicker. Then it happened.
I took a step and the heel of my right boot caught a rock. I went tumbling face first, in what seemed in my minds eye was thousands of feet down the side of a mountain. In reality, it was about a three step, face first fall. Mani dove to grab me like a super hero. He quickly assisted me to my feet. I made sure everything was working the way it should and we went on. I slowed down and remembered that every step has to count. No more over walking myself.
So back here in the village, I was happy to get the daily hot cup of Tang. We get it every afternoon before lunch. It is good and warms up a core that is getting increasingly colder by the day. Anther wonderful treat is the head cook, Ramkaji (sp) hands each of us a towel that is piping hot and has menthol in it. We inhale it and wash our hands and face with it and it is a pure delight.
Yesterday, Deana told me that the head of the Sherpas told her that I was know to them as BIG SISTER. It is a term of endearment. She told me that Dawah had reported Kahji, my Sherpa of the day, had said I was a very good walker. It seems sped is nothing to them, distance without rest is. I made the cut. I’ll take BIG SISTER to the bank!
On the very last bit back into Dingboche today, I overheard some other trekkers stating they had a signal. I quickly dashed off a text to Kathlene and hope she got it since she had last only heard that I was trudging through the Himalayas like a Yeti in a snow storm.